Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Keeping the faith

ROESDI Ghani, after being somewhat concerned when directed by National Sports Council (NSI) director general Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz to chart a physical training programme for Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, now believes the troubled pair can hit form in three months.

   Roesdi, who has been World No 1 Lee Chong Wei's physical trainer for six years, took over from Behrad Honer on Jan 27 and strongly believes Kien Keat-Boon Heong are on the right track with the commitment they have shown  in the training.

   Boon Heong used to train under Roesdi when he was a junior in 2004 but it was a new experience for the latter guiding Kien Keat.

   In fact, Kien Keat is the one who needs Roesdi's assistance more than Boon Heong and the trainer is happy with the effort put in by the 27-year-old shuttler over the last two weeks.

  "I was worried as it was not going to be an easy task as I am also in charge of Chong Wei's programme. However, Kien Keat and Boon Heong have been serious in the last four sessions we have gone through and are really committed," said Roesdi.

   "Both players are showing a lot of initiative and have been following my programme without much trouble. If they can maintain their commitment, I believe we can see a fit and explosive Kien Keat-Boon Heong again in three months."

   Roesdi added: "It's difficult to evaluate their progress after just four sessions but it is the attitude of the players from the beginning that determines their future and Kien Keat-Boon Heong are on the right track.

   "I have some knowledge of Boon Heong's strength and weaknesses but it took me some time to identify Kien Keat's weakness. I hope both players can gain from the programme."

   Chong Wei is, arguably, the fittest player in men's singles and much of this has been credited to Roesdi's efforts. This is the reason why Dr Ramlan had handpicked him to save Kien Keat-Boon Heong's playing career.

   Kien Keat has pledged to once again become the feared player he once was and has got no complaints about the changes made by the BA of Malaysia (BAM) to its training regime.

   "I was moved when the management said they still have faith in me and supported me despite my troubles. I have told myself to work hard and make a strong comeback. I want to improve before aiming for any lofty target," said Kien Keat.

   "We are currently chasing the top pairs. We cannot talk about winning yet but just keep progressing."

   National men's doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her, Yoo Yong Sung and Pang Cheh Chang are in charge of Kien Keat-Boon Heong's new programme and their involvement in tournaments has also been reduced so they can focus on their preparations for the London Olympics in July.

   These changes were made after Cheh Chang and Honer's combination didn't help Kien Keat-Boon Heong come out of their slump but there is renewed hope they can return to form in time to battle for a medal in London.

Read more: NST

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